How to pronounce Nike, Nutella, Adidas, Bvlgari, Fjällräven and more

Global company names are often anglicized or Americanized to the point of being unrecognizable, but brands can see some benefits if their names are pronounced correctly.

Hyundai UK’s latest TV commercial focuses on the pronunciation of the company’s name – and that’s not how most Britons have spoken.

“Hyun-day” the main character in the ad says, correcting the pronunciation of “Hy-un-dai” commonly used in the UK

“We’re proud to be Koreans with real character and purpose,” Hyundai Motor UK CEO Ashley Andrews said in a press release, explaining why pronunciation has taken center stage. of the advertising campaign.

“The year 2023 is the perfect time for us to properly reflect this in the UK,” he added, as the ad tries to “encourage more people to learn about Hyundai.”

That is the pronunciation of the name of the Korean car manufacturing giant, what about other global companies?

Adidas: addy dass

adidas” is an abbreviation of the name of founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler. The company was founded from a the feud between Adolf and his brother Rudolf, who founded Puma. It is pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable.

Allianz: al-ee-anz

Allianz“, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the German word for “union.” The company’s German origin can also be seen in the company’s logo, which is a simplified image of The prominent eagle on the German coat of arms.

Bvlgari: bul-gur-ee

Bvlgari uses the Latin alphabet in its spelling, which means the same pronunciation as the second letter “u”. Emphasis is also placed on the first syllable of the word, unlike the typical Italian pronunciation that highlights the second syllable. Greek jeweler Sotirios Voulgaris founded Bvlgari in Rome in 1884.

Dr. Oetker: doctor ert-ker

This German food company was named after its founder, Dr. August Oetker in 1981 and is still family owned today.

Fjällräven: fi-ell rair-ven

Fjällräven means “Arctic fox” in Swedish, which explains why this animal can be found on company products.

Givenchy: zhee-vawn-shee

Givenchy was founded in France in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy and belongs to a giant luxury group LVMH umbrella in 1988. LVMH became the first European company to reach a market capitalization of 400 billion euros ($434 billion) on January 17.

Hermes: er-mez

This French designer is named after its founder, Thierry Hermès. It is not pronounced like the messenger of the ancient Greek gods, Hermes, unlike the UK delivery company which has a similar spelling.

Huawei: hwaa-way

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is said to have come up with the company’s name after seeing the phrase “zhonghua youwei”, roughly translated as “China has the promise” written on a wall. The “h” in front of Huawei is almost silent.

Hublot: oo-blow

“Hublot” translates as “window” in French, reflecting the shape of the bezel of a Hublot watch.

Ikea: ee-kay-ah

The word “Ikea” is made up of the initials of the founder Ingavar Kamprad, the farm where he grew up, Elmtaryd and the nearby village of Agunnaryd.

Lancome: lohn-com

Many believe that the name “Lancome” was inspired by the ruins of a French castle, Le Château de Lancosme. The company’s logo, a rose, reflects the flowers growing in the area.

Moët & Chandon: mow-et ey shon-don

Contrary to typical French pronunciation, there is a hard “T” sound at the end of “Moët”. The founder of the world’s largest champagne producer, Claude Moët, is of Dutch descent, which explains the unusual pronunciation.

Nike: nai-key

Nike President Phillip Knight confirmed the sportswear brand’s official pronunciation in a letter in 2014 after two fans asked him to circle the correct pronunciation of the word. The company name is inspired by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

Nutella: new-told-uh

Nutella announced the official pronunciation for the hazelnut spread a year after Nike, when the brand included the phonetic spelling in the FAQ on its website. The word is a combination of “nut” and the Latin suffix “ella”, which means sweet.

Porsche: por-sha

British people often omit the “e” when saying “porsche,” while Americans tend to pronounce the name of the luxury automaker as the German founder intended, with an easy “e” sound. Porsche bears the name of its founder, Ferdinand Porsche.

Tag Heuer: tah-g hoy-ah

Although the watchmaker’s name follows German pronunciation rules, “Tag” stands for Techniques d’Avant Garde, which in French means “pioneering technique”. Heuer is the last name of the company’s founder, Edouard Heuer.

Volkswagen: folks-vaa-gen

volkswagen“translated from German to mean “people’s car”, which reflects the company’s long-term goal of becoming an everyday car for the masses.

What’s in a name?

Like Hyundai, more and more brands are focusing on their cultural heritage as a way to promote certain values, and the company’s name could be one way to highlight that.

But that’s not the only driving force behind stellar pronunciation, according to Rachel Aldighieri, chief executive officer at the UK Data & Marketing Association.

“More and more of us get information through sound… So it’s important that you can recognize and understand the brand name from an advertising perspective when you hear it,” she told CNBC. .

DMA research from 2020 found that 27% of casual podcast listeners surveyed agree they’ve discovered new brands through podcast ads, based on whether listeners can recognize the company’s name or not.

Voice assistant technology also plays a more important role in our lives than ever, with the US smart home market worth nearly $113 billion by 2021up 20% year-over-year, according to data firm IDC.

And even if an ad like Hyundai’s doesn’t immediately get people to change their pronunciation, it still gets people talking.

“People can start to change [their pronunciation],” said Aldighieri, “but what they’re going to do is start talking to each other about it.”

She added: “The whole talk, word of mouth that comes from those types of campaigns actually brings out more value than people correctly pronouncing it in so many ways.


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